Moscow: Three nuclear-powered missile submarines broke thick ice and surfaced in the Arctic Ocean simultaneously for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy, Navy Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Yevmenov said.
The submarines shattered 1.5-metre-thick ice and ascended to the frozen sea surface at the same time in an area with a radius of 300 metres, Xinhua news agency quoted Yevmenov as saying in a report to President Vladimir Putin via video link.
The manoeuver was part of the “Umka-2021” (meaning polar bear) comprehensive Arctic expedition that the Russian Navy has been carrying out in the Franz Josef Land archipelago since March 20.
More than 600 military and civilian personnel, and about 200 pieces of military and special equipment and weapons are involved in the expedition, Yevmenov said, adding that the “Umka-2021” includes 43 events, with 35 of them having been completed.
Two MiG-31 fighters flew past the geographic point of the North Pole with refuelling in the air, he said.
A nuclear-powered submarine practiced torpedo firing under the ice, he added.
“As a result, the weapons, the military and special equipment proved their technical specifications in high latitudes and low temperatures,” Yevmenov said.
He added that the Russian Navy will continue to conduct Arctic expeditions in the future.
Such an expedition is unprecedented in the history of both the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, according to Putin.
“These combat training, research and practical measures have demonstrated the Russian Navy’s abilities and preparedness to operate in the harsh northern latitudes,” the President added.